The 49ers today said goodbye to two players - receiver Marcus Maxwell and linebacker Roderick Green -- who, a few months ago at least, seemed to have a legitimate shot of making the 53-man roster. Also released Sunday were fullback Steve Dildine, kicker MacKenzie Hoambrecker, punter Ken Parrish, cornerback Sammy Joseph, offensive lineman Nick Steitz, linebacker John Syptak and receiver Dominique Zeigler. The 49ers must reduce their roster to 75 players by Tuesday.
Mike Nolan said he released Maxwell, a seventh-round draft pick in 2005, with the thought that he may be able to catch on with another team. No 49er went into training camp with more momentum than Maxwell. He had an outstanding season for the champion Hamburg Sea Devils in NFL Europa, and he arrived in camp stronger and more confident than ever.
While Nolan conceded that Maxwell had improved from his rookie season, he also said that the 49ers had added several players - Darrell Jackson, Ashley Lelie and rookie Jason Hill among them - that pushed Maxwell farther down the roster.
"This might give an opportunity for (another team) who saw him in the World League to give him another look," Nolan said.
Green, meanwhile, gave a big boost to the 49ers' pass rush at the end of last season. However, youngsters Parys Haralson and Jay Moore appear to have sewn up the back-up outside linebacker spots. Nolan said Green would be on a "short list" should there be injuries at outside linebacker during the season.
Defensive end Melvin Oliver (knee) and receiver C.J. Brewer (knee) will be placed on injured reserve, which will help the 49ers reach the 75-player limit.
As far as injuries, tight end Billy Bajema (ankle), cornerback Donald Strickland (chest) and safety Vickiel Vaughn will not play in the season finale Thursday in San Diego. Nolan also said that receiver Darrell Jackson (hamstring) and defensive end Bryant Young (back) are questionable.
Strickland spent the night in Chicago after suffering what Nolan described as a lung contusion. He was released and flew home on his own today.
-- Matt Barrows